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Tufts University wins Silicon Mechanics cluster

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Silicon Mechanics has announced that Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts, is the winner of a complete high-performance computing (HPC) cluster donated by Silicon Mechanics and its vendor partners as part of its second annual Research Cluster Grant competition.

Tufts will use the cluster as a key component of a multidisciplinary effort to transform the way biological pattern formation is investigated. The university's long-term mission is to integrate computer science, molecular biology, and biophysics to understand the processing of patterning information in living systems.

The competition was open to US and Canadian qualified post-secondary institutions, university-affiliated research institutions, non-profit research institutions, and researchers at federal labs with university affiliations. The applications were reviewed and rated based on criteria that included the proposal’s research goals, collaboration with other institutions or departments, student access to the cluster, and the importance of CPU and GPU technologies in the research.

The HPC cluster, valued at about $78,000, is composed of the latest technology by Silicon Mechanics and its partners Nvidia, AMD, Kingston Technology, Mellanox, Supermicro, Seagate and Bright Computing.

Equipped with Nvidia M2090 GPUs and AMD Opteron 6300 series processors, the HPC cluster contains a head node, eight compute nodes, two GPU nodes, and both gigabit and InfiniBand networking.

'The interdisciplinary group will use the cluster to develop a new kind of bioinformatics that integrates functional genetic data into a true systems-level understanding of the remarkable mechanisms that enable living beings to build, control, and dynamically repair their bodies,' said Tufts biology professor, Michael Levin.

'Running the simulation environment we envisage requires a very high computational cost, which means the project will greatly benefit by the high-performance computer cluster awarded in this grant.'